4 Filthy Problems with Bathroom Tiles Revealed

4 Filthy Problems with Bathroom Tiles Revealed

Tiles are among the most common features in bathrooms across the UK. They provide a waterproof covering for the walls and floors around baths, showers, and toilets. But hidden in that covering are plenty of nasty surprises.

In this post, we’ll look at four ways bathroom tiles can cause a filthy problem in your home.

1. Dirt builds up in the grouting

Bathroom tiles are non-porous, meaning they don’t absorb anything that splashes or runs onto them. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the grouting that holds them in place. Sitting in between tiles, grouting provides the perfect place for dirt and bacteria to gather and build up.

Needless to say, this is far from hygienic for anyone touching those surfaces. Over time, it can even lead to grouting becoming discoloured. When you consider why it’s discoloured, it’s enough to make anyone think twice about tiling their own bathroom.

2. You can’t clean it

The worst thing about dirty grouting around tiles is that you can’t just wipe it away. Unlike wall panels, which can be easily wiped clean, grouting requires special solutions and lots of elbow grease.

Scouring the internet will bring up suggestions for bicarbonate of soda, old toothbrushes and lots of elbow grease just to get it looking partly clean. That’s hardly ideal in a room where you’re supposed to be cleaning yourself.

3. Rot underneath

Tiles are seen as a waterproof solution for bathroom walls and floors. However, even the smallest gap in the grouting lets water through. Once it gets underneath the tiles, it can allow mould to grow and lead to the wall or floorboard underneath decaying and rotting.

The worst bit? You won’t see the damage developing because your tiles are covering it. This can lead to truly filthy revelations should you pull your tiles off, which could cost lots to repair depending on how long it’s been happening.

4. Filthy removal

The final filthy part of tiles? Removing them. Raking out the grout and chiselling away at tiles will leave your bathroom an absolute mess with cracked tiles, dirty grouting, and heaps of dust all over the place.

That’s not even considering the state your wall will be in, with cracks and lumps the best-case scenario.

What’s the alternative?

Whether it’s the grimy grouting build-up or the potential water ingress and rot, bathroom tiles are far from a clean option for your home. Fortunately, there is an alternative. Bathroom wall panels are made from waterproof PVC, making them the perfect alternative to bathroom tiles.

There’s no need for masses of grouting, just a small amount of silicone between each panel. Much larger than bathroom tiles, they can also be easily wiped clean with soapy water and a soft cloth.

Best of all, wall panels can be installed over tiles, so you don’t need to embark on a messy removal to renovate your bathroom. At Igloo Surfaces, our bathroom wall panels even come with a 10- to 20-year guarantee depending on the specific product, so you can rest assured they’ll stand the test of time.

Are Shower Panels a Good Idea?

Are Shower Panels a Good Idea?

There’s no shortage of new products for your home, which aim to make life easier and more efficient. Some stick around, like the virtual assistant, while others simply fade away. Anyone remember mini-fridges?

So, where do shower panels fit in? Relatively new onto the scene, shower panels act as an alternative to tiles and other water-resistant surfaces for your shower. In this post, we’ll explore whether they’re a good idea that’s here to stay or an unnecessary trend that’s already on its way out.

Do they work?

The first check for any good idea is whether it works. Shower panels pass that test with flying colours, as long as they’re from a good supplier.

Made from PVC, shower panels are completely water resistant. They’re hard-wearing to hold up against the inevitable knocks and bumps of a shower, and can even be wiped clean for minimal maintenance.

Filling a gap

The old saying goes, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s why the next test for shower panels is whether they improve on the status quo. Namely – tiles, which are the most popular option for showers and bathrooms.

Quite simply, the answer is yes. Shower panels are a superior alternative to bathroom tiles, both in form and function. They reduce the need for grouting, which is essentially tiles’ Achilles heel. With just a small amount of sealant required, there’s far less chance of anything wearing away and letting water through.

Will they last?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing when it comes to your home. Whether it’s a cheap contractor or a budget vacuum cleaner, so many investments prove unwise after a few months or years of use. Fortunately, shower panels aren’t one of them.

At Igloo, our shower panel kits come with a guarantee of 10 to 20 years depending on the specific product. That means you can rest assured they’ll grace your home or commercial property for years to come.

The installation hurdle

While longevity is crucial, many people realise something was a bad idea when they come to install it. That’s certainly the case with cheap flat-pack furniture, for example. Fortunately, the same isn’t true for shower panels.

We’ve designed our shower panels with easy installation in mind. Kits come with everything you need, from trims and end caps to adhesives and sealants. Crucially, that’s paired with clear instructions and even online help guides to make sure you install your panels like a pro.

Best of all, you can even install them over tiles as long as the surface is flat and nothing is loose. That means there’s no need to spend hours chipping away at your walls.

How about the looks?

Finally, there’s the appearance. By now, we’re all well aware that products have to look the part as well as walking the walk. Thankfully for shower panels, they fit the bill yet again.

Unlike tiles, which are actually quite restrictive and dated in their appearance, shower panels come in an array of styles and colours. Go for a classic clean white, get a natural look with marble and stone effects or choose from a selection of vibrant colours.

Shower panels allow you to achieve whichever look you want. Modern or classic, bright or understated – the choice is yours.

See for yourself

Whether it’s their performance, appearance or longevity, shower panels are a good idea across the board. At Igloo Surfaces, we stock a wide range of stunning shower panel kits which give you everything you need to put shower panels to the test and see the amazing results.

Need any more information? Give us a call on 01709 329117 to discuss your project.

The Pros & Cons of Cheap Wet Wall Panels

The Pros & Cons of Cheap Wet Wall Panels

Wet wall panels are a great way to renovate your bathroom without the hassle of tiling. While they’re naturally cost-effective, many people look to save even more on the job with cheap wet wall panels.

Good idea? Or something you’ll regret? In this post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of cheap options and determine the best wet wall panels for your home or commercial property.

Pro – A cheap price

As the name suggests, cheap wet wall panels are certainly cheaper than their high-end counterparts. The obvious benefit here is that you will save money right now. That makes it more affordable to renovate your bathroom in the short term.

Con – Cheap performance

Unfortunately, that cut in price comes at a cost to the performance. Cheap wet wall panels are unlikely to be as hard-wearing as top-quality panels. They’ll get damaged by knocks and bumps leaving your bathroom looking tired and worn. In some cases, they won’t even protect your wall from the splashes and spills in your bathroom, leaving damp to develop underneath the panels.

Con – Cheap appearance

Cheap wet wall panels might look the part from afar, or on nicely doctored product images. That’s not the case up close. Anyone using your bathroom – whether it’s customers, guests or just you and your family – will be able to tell the difference between good wet wall panels and their cheap counterparts.

Con – Poor installation

The best wet wall panels have been designed with ease-of-use in mind. They come with clear instructions and can be fit over existing tiles to save you time and effort. Cheap panels, on the other hand, will often leave you to fend for yourself with a lack of instructions and no idea about best practice.

Con – False economy

With the tacky appearance, sub-rate performance and imperfect installation, it’s only a matter of time before you decide to replace your cheap wet wall panels. If you stick to your guns with the cheap option, that means forking out again and again for more of the same. It’s not long before your initial cost-saving has vanished.

In contrast, high-quality wet wall panels give you years of style and function. Over time, they work out as a more cost-effective option, making cheap wet wall panels actually more expensive in the long run.

Top quality wet wall panels

The saying goes “buy cheap, buy twice.” That’s certainly the case for wet wall panels. At Igloo Surfaces, we specialise in long-lasting quality over a race to the bottom when it comes to your walls.

Our bathroom and shower wall panels are stylish, hard-wearing and easy to install. Available in a range of colours and finishes, our wet wall panels even come with a 10- to 20-year guarantee. That means you can rest assured you’ll be getting plenty of use from your investment.

Improving Washroom Hygiene in Public Buildings


With countless people using them to “freshen up” on a daily basis, public washrooms are a hotspot for dirt, germs and bacteria. That’s not exactly what you want to hear when you’re in charge of keeping them hygienic. The good news? The are simple ways to stop germs spreading, make cleaning easier and improve hygiene…


With people using the toilet, there’s a lot of potential for germs to spread in public washrooms. The vast majority of that is spread by people’s hands. Whether it’s switches, flushes or door handles, they become saturated in bacteria, which is easily passed on to the next person who touches them.

A popular solution to this issue is sensor technology, which has a wide range of applications in public washrooms:


People use taps to remove germs from their hands. But, paradoxically, they have to spread germs onto the tap to do so. Sensor taps eliminate this problem, detecting when hands are under them and letting water flow. They also reduce water usage, with no risk of taps being left on


Before you’ve even washed your hands, you need to flush the toilet. Unfortunately, this means countless dirty hands touching the flush throughout the day. Sensor flushes are a simple solution, which detect when someone has moved away from the toilet and flush automatically.

Hand drying

Just 5% of people wash their hands properly after using the toilet. It’s disgusting, but true. And it means that those germs will continue to be transferred onto hand dryers. So, even people who wash their hands properly could be re-contaminated by a dirty hand-dryer switch. With sensor hand-dryers, this isn’t an issue


The same can be said for light switches, which will be contaminated as people turn the lights on and off. Sensor lighting will switch on when motion is detected in the washroom, removing the need for a switch. Similar to sensor taps, this could solve two problems – with no risk of people leaving the lights on and wasting energy.

Hygienic surfaces

As well as being passed on by hands, bacteria can spread through the air and any splashes or spillages. This makes regular deep-cleaning essential for public washrooms. However, things can still be problematic when unsuitable surfaces allow bacteria to gather. That’s what happens on the grout lines of conventional tiles, but there are alternatives:

Wall cladding

PVC wall panels allow you to cover the walls without unhygienic grout lines. Panels can be wiped clean with ease and are completely waterproof, so they won’t hold any extra bacteria.


Hygienic flooring is also an important consideration. Airborne bacteria, spillages and footfall make flooring a danger zone for dirt and bacteria. Again, grouting is a big problem when it comes to keeping floors clean. Vinyl flooring offers a practical way around this, with no grouting and zero wood content to enable easy cleaning.

Choose your style

With Igloo Surfaces, maintaining good hygiene doesn’t have to mean compromising on style. We provide high-quality wall panels and hygienic flooring in a wide range of styles. Even better, we offer free samples and a 10-20 year guarantee, so you get complete peace of mind.

Why Choose Shower Panels Instead of Tiles

Shower Panels or Tiles

Shower panels or tiles? It’s a question faced by many property owners when they’re designing or redecorating their bathroom. Both have some essential qualities, not least that they are waterproof. However, delve deeper and you’ll see all sorts of reasons to choose shower panels instead. This post looks at why shower panels beat bathroom tiles hands down.

The popularity of tiles

When you’re choosing a wall covering for your shower, you need something that’s waterproof, durable and easy to clean. That’s why, for years, tiles have been the most popular choice. They aren’t affected by water from the shower, they can’t be damaged easily and they’re mostly easy to clean.

Over time, however, dirt will build up within the grouting, which looks terrible and is tricky to clean. Even when cleaned, the new appearance of your tiles will be diminished. Tiles are also a pain to install. Any old tiles will need to be removed, before the walls are prepared and all tiles are laid carefully in the right place.

On top of all that, tiles have become quite dated in their appearance, meaning they stand out in otherwise modern design schemes. And despite each tile being affordable, the cost can soon stack up when you’re covering a whole room.

When there was no real alternative, people had to put up with these drawbacks. However, as manufacturing has improved, the shower wall panel has become a popular alternative…

Shower panels – a practical alternative

Like tiles, shower panels tick all the boxes when it comes to practicality. Made from PVC, they’re completely waterproof and can be wiped clean with no hassle whatsoever. Their PVC surface also makes them impressively strong and durable, so you can expect your shower panels to stay in great condition well into the future.

In contrast to tiles, shower panels are easy to install. With a much larger surface area, you don’t need anywhere near as many to cover the wall. This has the added benefit of cost-efficiency – and they can even be installed over tiles in many cases.

Modern and stylish

What really sets shower panels apart is their appearance. With a sleek appearance, they don’t look out of place in modern design schemes. Even better, they come in a wide range of styles. Whether it’s a black sparkle effect, simple white or striking lime green, there is a shower panel perfect for every bathroom.

High quality shower panels

Igloo Surfaces specialises in high quality shower panels for both domestic and commercial bathrooms. Available in a wide range of colours and styles, our PVC shower panels will keep your bathroom looking its best for years to come. We even offer ‘all in one’ shower kits that include everything you need for a 2 or 3 wall shower. Sound good? Take a look at our bathroom wall panels and shower kits today to find the perfect style for your bathroom.

The Biggest Bathroom Trends of 2018 So Far


Looking to spruce up your bathroom? We’ve got some good news for you. 2018 has seen all kinds of exciting design trends to bring your shower or bath surroundings right up to date.

From the latest colours to modern surfaces, there’s something for everyone. Read on as we explore the biggest bathroom trends so far in 2018…


The colour of your bathroom contributes so much to how it looks and feels. According to Ideal Home, Indigo Blue is making a splash in 2018. Beautiful shades of blue, such as these Striking Blue wall panels, create a peaceful marine atmosphere.

Alternatively, House Beautiful suggests that grey bathrooms will continue to increase in popularity because of their impressive versatility. Grey walls or flooring provide a neutral palette which works with both modern and traditional design schemes. Stay traditional with a  grey marble look or opt for a modern look with subtle grey panelling.


Wet rooms continue to be a big trend, according to Grand Designs Magazine. Recessed wall profiles and wide panelling helps keep even a small, simple space looking and feeling modern. Meanwhile, Amara lists statement flooring as one of their top bathroom trends for 2018.

Because floor space is a lot smaller than wall space, it can offer a cost-efficient way to add new designs to your bathroom. With exciting designs like copper slate, it’s no wonder statement flooring has taken off in 2018.


Also on the list for Grand Designs are sleek wood effects. Scandi design influence paired with a continued trend for natural materials has made the wood-look desirable for bathroom walls and floors.

Unfortunately, wood isn’t the best material for bathrooms – especially in the splash zone. That’s where wood-effect vinyl flooring comes in. Choose from natural oak, vintage oak or even antique white ash to incorporate a stylish natural touch in your bathroom

Wood isn’t the only option. Ideal Home also includes matt finishes as one of their key trends this year. Muted tones pair particularly well with natural materials like wood and stone, to create a perfect juxtaposition in your design.

Feature pieces

Once you’ve got the overall design of your bathroom nailed down, it’s time to look at some smaller features. Victorian Plumbing suggests rose gold bathroom fixtures and dark radiators are two of the best options for homeowners in 2018. Rose gold taps, for instance, add a subtle touch of elegance. Meanwhile, dark radiators can be used for contrast, adding another dimension to your bathroom design.

Update your bathroom

Igloo Surfaces provides an easy, cost-effective way to modernise your bathroom with a range of shower and bathroom wall panels and stylish vinyl flooring. Our products come in a range of designs, covering all the latest trends. They’re also completely waterproof, hard-wearing and easy-to-install so you don’t need to worry about any hassle or damage.

5 Wall Cladding Options for Your Kitchen


So, you’re refurbishing your kitchen. Or maybe you’re designing a new kitchen from scratch. In either case, wall cladding is a key element – for both function and aesthetics. It needs to be stylish, durable and practical without breaking the bank.

So, what are your options? Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best kitchen wall cladding ideas for you to choose from.

1.   Tiles

Ceramic tiles have been the go-to choice for kitchen walls for some time. They’re moisture-resistant, easy to clean and available in a wide range of styles. However, as time goes on – and new wall cladding options have become available – they’ve become quite dated in their appearance. Grouting is also a problem when it comes to cleaning tiles and they’re far from easy to install.

2.   Paint

You might think paint is unsuitable for kitchen walls, because of all the moisture it will encounter. And you would be right. However, plastic and acrylic paints provide an ideal solution. Unlike regular paint, they are resistant to moisture and mould build-up. But like regular paint, they come in a wide range of colours and are relatively affordable.

The downside? As we’ve all come to learn with paint, it can be a messy job, requiring multiple coats. And even the best moisture-proof paint isn’t going to be quite as durable as other wall coverings.

3.   Stone

Stone is a popular option for kitchens because of its unmatched natural beauty. A number of stone types are available – slate, marble and quartz to name just a few – each with their own natural gradients and patterns. It’s also naturally durable and easy to clean, making it ideal for the hard-wearing kitchen environment. Unfortunately, stone does not compete with other options in terms of cost-effectiveness.

4.   Metal

Stainless steel wall cladding is sometimes used in commercial kitchens because of its superb hygienic quality. Steel wipes clean easily, shows any stains and is completely resistant to moisture. The only downside is the appearance, which doesn’t usually fit in with the look of modern or traditional homes.

5.   PVC

PVC wall panels are a simple, stylish and cost-effective way to clad the walls in your kitchen. They have a modern look, with a range of colours to match any design scheme. Most importantly, they’re durable and easy-to-clean for any splashbacks or spillages, with easy installation to boot.

High-quality kitchen wall panels

Igloo Surfaces offers a kitchen wall panels, made from 100% waterproof PVC, in a wide range of colours. Our wall panels are hard-wearing, low-maintenance and easy-to-install. To make things even easier for you, we offer free samples, free delivery on orders over £100 and a 10-20 year guarantee. To take a closer browse through our full range of kitchen wall panels today.

5 Kitchen Flooring Options You Should Consider


Your kitchen goes through more than most rooms in the home. Heavy footfall, dropped dishes and countless spills will take their toll on the kitchen floor.

To cope with all of that, you need flooring that’s hard-wearing and durable, not to mention low-maintenance and easy-to-clean. That’s exactly why carpet – used in most other rooms – is not suitable.

So, what are your options? In truth, there are a number of flooring types available for the kitchen – each with their own strengths and, in some cases, weaknesses. Read on as we take a look at 5 of the contenders and how they measure up.

1. Tile

Tiles have become a popular choice for kitchen flooring because they’re durable and moisture resistant. They’re also relatively low maintenance and come in a wide range of styles, sizes, shapes and colours.

The downside? Despite a variety of options, tiled floors often have a dated appearance, making them unsuitable for modern kitchens. The grouting can also become problematic because, unlike the tiles themselves, it’s difficult to keep clean. On top of all that, the cost of tiles and installation can soon stack up.

2. Concrete

With various finishes available, concrete flooring has become a stylish option for contemporary kitchens. Understandably, it has impressive durability and can withstand constant footfall, so it’s suitable for even the busiest kitchens.

Unfortunately, concrete flooring and the preparation required beforehand can set you back considerably more than the alternatives. It’s also susceptible to staining, can become very cold and almost guarantees that items will smash when dropped.

3. Rubber

If you want the opposite to the cold, hard surface of concrete, rubber is the solution. Rubber tiles or sheeting provide a durable, eco-friendly surface for kitchen floors because it’s recyclable. It’s naturally resistant to fire and moisture, low-maintenance and has a padded quality that could reduce the amount of crockery you need to replace. One unique strength is the high-grip quality, meaning there’s less chance of slipping.

While rubber isn’t particularly expensive, it can be easily stained by spilt oils. Its main drawback, however, is that it carries a bit too much resemblance to a school or gym environment.

4. Stone

If you can afford it, stone is a superb option for stylish kitchens. Its natural variation in pattern and colour gives your kitchen a unique appearance and feel. The cold surface is ideal for hot environments and is naturally durable – not to mention easy to clean.

That said, many homeowners are priced out of stone flooring. Cheaper varieties may chip easily, so it’s not something you should compromise on. Natural stone also needs routine sealing to keep it looking and performing well.

5. Solid vinyl

Vinyl flooring provides a ‘best of both worlds’ option when it comes to kitchen flooring. It’s affordable, easy to install, durable and water resistant. Best of all it looks great and is available in a wide range of styles and colours to suit any design scheme.

While there are no clear downsides to solid vinyl kitchen flooring, buyers should be wary of poorly manufactured varieties which won’t stand the test of time. Opt for a quality.

Can we help?

Igloo Surfaces provides high-quality Simplex vinyl flooring to complete any kitchen. With zero wood content, our flooring is cost-effective, hard wearing and looks great in any room. Even better, we offer free samples and free delivery on orders over £100.

Contact us today for more information on any of our products.

4 Benefits of Hygienic Wall Cladding for Authorities


Local authorities and housing associations manage thousands of properties across their respective towns and cities. And at times, it can feel like an impossible balancing act. Managing rent payments and finding homes for people is paired with the task of keeping all properties in a good condition, with continuing repairs and refurbishments.

Fortunately, hygienic wall cladding can make that impossible balancing act a bit more realistic. Read on as we discuss the benefits for local authorities.

1.   Hygienic

As a housing association or local authority, your first concern is hygiene and safety. This is paramount in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom, which need to be completely fit for purpose. Hygienic wall cladding is ideal for kitchen splashbacks, which show up clearly on its surface, as well as being completely waterproof for any bathroom spillages.

2.   Cost-effective

Since 2010-11, local authorities have seen their budgets cut by nearly 50%. This has made it all the more difficult to keep homes in a good state – not to mention things like social care which are also on the plate of local authorities.

Wall cladding is a cost-effective alternative to tiling, giving councils a bit more financial breathing space. While the cost of individual tiles may seem insignificant, it can soon stack up when you’re tasked with covering a whole bathroom or kitchen wall. Instead, hygienic wall cladding comes in larger panels, reducing the cost of the job at hand.

3.   Durable

Bathroom and kitchen tiling can easily become damaged, with the odd tile cracking or falling away – or even grouting cracking in places. The result? Local authorities have to send someone out to fix things, adding to their to-do list and costing them more money. With wall panels, this isn’t the case. Made from PVC, they’re hard wearing and durable for the most testing environments.

With larger panels there’s no chance of small parts breaking away or becoming damaged, so you don’t have to worry about any small recurring repairs. Even better, they’re easy to install so, should anything every need replacing, you don’t need to fork out for specialist installation to remedy the problem.

4.   Low maintenance

The next issue on your check-list is maintenance. As well as repairs from damage, local authorities occasionally need to replace and refurbish where homes haven’t been kept in a good condition by tenants. Bathrooms and kitchens are problem areas, which often need work because tenants haven’t kept up with maintenance.

PVC wall panels require minimal maintenance to keep them working well and looking great. Unlike some wall coverings, they’re easy to clean, with any stains or spillages showing up clearly. In the long run, you’re less likely to find them in a poor state, with less need for repairs or replacement.

Buy with confidence

Igloo Surfaces offers a range of bathroom wall panels and kitchen wall panels for local authorities and housing associations. With free samples on request and a 10 to 20-year guarantee on our products, you can buy with confidence. We even offer a specialist service for commercial customers to make sure everything goes smoothly throughout design and fitting.

To find out more about how PVC wall panels can benefit you, feel free to get in touch with Igloo Surfaces today.